Managing pests and insects in the Florida stone fruit industry can be a large challenge because of the very short fruit developmental period and the length of the growing season after harvest. The trees must maintain their vigor in order to stay productive for subsequent seasons.
All insects are not harmful to the perennial orchard production system, and preserving and enhancing the beneficial insect population should be taken into consideration. Several different trees and flowers can be planted to enhance these communities of beneficial insects, such as crepe myrtle. Trees, shrubs, or cover crop species with extrafloral nectaries are most effective to attract these beneficial insect communities. For more information on plant varieties to enhance beneficial insects, click here.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques should be implemented with weekly scouting to aid in responsible chemical applications in both conventional and organic orchards. Listed below are peach insects common to stone fruit production in Florida. Please use the most current Southeastern Peach, Nectarine and Plum Pest Management and Culture Guide [LINK] when making decisions on when and what to apply for control of these insects.
In addition, be sure that you are calibrating your spray equipment properly. While small farms and orchards may be using backpack sprayers, large airblast sprayers are often used in larger orchards.
- Calibrating and Using Backpack Sprayers - Oregon State University
- Calibrating Airblast Sprayers - EDIS1435/AE238
- Managing Pesticide Drift - EDIS PI232
- Choosing a Nozzle Type - Virginia Tech University
Recordkeeping is an essential activity when managing your orchard, and the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services has provided a suggested Pesticide Recordkeeping Form.
- Insect Management in Peaches - EDIS ENY-804/IG075
A comprehensive guide to insect management in Florida stone fruit.
- White Peach Scale - EDIS EENY-076/IN233
- Plum Curculio - University of Georgia
- Peach Tree and Lesser Tree Borers - EDIS ENY-691/IN489
- Stinkbugs - EDIS ENY-804/IG075
- Plant Bugs and Stink Bugs
- Caribbean Fruit Fly
Spotted Winged Drosophila (SWD)
Keep up on the latest regarding the movement of this insect within the state of Florida and nationwide. Be sure to monitor for this insect by building your own traps to know when to apply targeted insecticides and prevent significant crop damage.
- SWD Trap Assembly
- US SWD Survey
- SWD in Florida
- Oregon State SWD Website
- Washington State SWD Website
Brown Marmorated Stinkbug
Brown Marmorated Stinkbugs are spreading throughout the U. S. This devastating insect can hitch a ride on almost anything - see below for links to resources on identification and contact information.
- USDA Organic Resources
- Organic and Low-Spray Peach Production
- Low-Spray and Organic Plum Production
- Tree Fruits: Organic Production
The University of Florida has a clinic available to help determine insect and pest problems. They charge a small fee to assess plant or soil material. Be sure to fill out the proper form when submitting a sample to each clinic.
Insect Traps for Florida Stone Fruit
Dr. Russell Mizell's website for various traps and monitoring techniques to best implement IPM practices in the orchard.
University of Florida Entomology Site for Arthropods
A good website with a nice "pest alert" function for the newest insect problems.
Stone Fruit Insect Pests Identification Workshop
Peach, nectarine, and plum insecticide information.